U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Administrative Enforcement and Litigation

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC or Commission) is the federal agency responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability, or genetic information. The agency began its work in 1965. More than 40 years later, the public continues to rely on the Commission to carry out its responsibility to bring justice and equal opportunity to the workplace.

  • Through its administrative enforcement process, the Commission receives, investigates, and resolves charges of employment discrimination filed against private sector employers, employment agencies, labor unions, and state and local governments, including charges of systemic discrimination.
  • Where the Commission does not resolve these charges through conciliation or other informal methods, the Commission may pursue litigation against private sector employers, employment agencies and labor unions (and against state and local governments in cases alleging age discrimination or equal pay violations). The Commission may also participate in on-going litigation as amicus curiae.

The EEOC also leads and coordinates equal employment opportunity efforts across the Federal government and conducts administrative hearings and issues appellate decisions on complaints of discrimination filed by federal employees and applicants for federal employment.